Novak Scholarship

The College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota invites applications for the Louis P. and Mary Ann Novak Scholarship. Recipients must be new full-time undergraduate students who demonstrate academic promise and financial need.

The award is renewable for three additional years provided acceptable progress. Preference will be given to students with an interest in studying Central European studies, in particular, Croatian or Hungarian studies, or preference will be given to first-generation college students, or students majoring in history.

Mary Ann, a first generation Italian American, has volunteered at the Immigration History Research Center as well as the Friends of the IHRC, helping to preserve the stories of immigrants, helping keep her Italian heritage and Lou’s Croatian heritage alive, and helping others learn about their own family history.

This scholarship has been available since the Fall of 2012. For more information on applying for this scholarship, visit this page on the UMN website. Now is the time to consider this scholarship and apply for it. The scholarships are typically $3,000 annually with renewal of up to 4 years. The Novak Family wants this scholarship to be issued to students of Croatian Heritage! Please let interested students know about it. Donations to the fund can be made by visiting this link.

Rukavina Scholarship Fund

Joseph Rukavina, 91 years old of White Bear Lake, MN died on June 10, 2013 at Southview Acres Health Care Center in West St. Paul after five months battling cardio-renal syndrome and congestive heart failure. He was preceded in death by his beautiful wife of 61 years, Arlene Rukavina.

Joe was born in Virginia, MN February 4, 1922 to Croatian immigrant parents, Thomas and Lucy Rukavina. He attended local Virginia schools and then two years at Virginia Junior College . Joe served in the US Navy for three years and earned a commendation for heroism on Iwo Jima. He graduated with two undergraduate degrees from the University of Minnesota and College of St. Thomas. He also earned a Masters Degree in Education. He taught at Swanville H.S. for two years before starting his thirty plus years of extraordinary teaching and coaching at White Bear Lake H.S.

Joe was a long time activist within the Democratic Party and so proud of his work with three Croatian American groups: Croatian Fraternal Union, Croatian Cultural Society of MN and the National Federation of Croatian Americans (co-founder). He was honored with awards from both the Republic of Croatia and The White House for his outstanding humanitarian work during the 1990s war in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. He was a founding member of St. Pius X Church in White Bear Lake and was active there for 59 years. Joe Rukavina, known as Mr. Ruk to many of his students and Deda to his many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, was an unforgettable man who loved people and life to the fullest and was loved by so many.

Memorials for the Joseph Rukavina Family Scholarship Fund can be donated in his name to: CFU Scholarship Foundation (501) (c) (3) and sent to: Croatian Fraternal Union, 100 Delaney Drive, Pittsburgh PA 15235.